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'We Just Can't Take it Anymore'

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

A couple years ago, a long-time labor activist, Dan McCrory, wrote a book called “Capitalism Killed the Middle Class: 25 Ways the System is Rigged Against You.” He firmly believes that a strong labor movement is the key to saving the middle class.

McCrory has been a labor activist for 30+ years and a writer even longer. “Capitalism Killed the Middle Class” was a finalist in the UK’s Page Turner Awards. His novel, “You Will Forever Be My Always,” was a winner in the 2022 Los Angeles Book Festival. His poetry appeared in the 2020 anthology of California’s Best Emerging Poets, and two of his screenplays have reached quarter finalist status in the NYC International Screenplay Awards.

Dan chairs the book division of the National Writers Union. His next book will be Leonard Peltier and the Family He Left Behind, a look at Leonard Peltier, the family man rather than the cold-blooded killer of two FBI agents for which he was wrongly convicted.

He lives in southern California with his wife, Terri and two fussy dogs.

"The rich and powerful have managed to, over the years, shift a lot of the costs for infrastructure, for healthcare, all sorts of things onto the backs of the middle class," McCrory says on the podcast. "And we just can't take it anymore. It's ridiculous to the point that it's actually hurting and killing the middle class."

While McCrory talks about the need to strengthen labor unions as a solution to the economic problems facing the average wage earner, he uses efforts to organize Starbucks baristas and even entertainers at strip joints as examples of efforts currently underway.

Here are some questions we discussed with McCrory:

Q. You say the middle class needs saved, and that a strong labor movement is what’s needed. From what does the middle- class need saved, and how can labor unions address that?

Q. You had a long career with a huge corporation, AT&T, and you acknowledge that you were well paid and that AT&T retirement benefits are helping you today. So, what’s the problem?

Q. In a video promoting your book, you say the current situation is rigged so the rich get richer and the powerful gain more power. Please explain how the system is rigged against the average wage-earner?

Q. You also say that there is a “well-concerted effort to wipe out the middle class,” and you see it as your job to blow the whistle. Why would there be an effort to wipe out the middle class? Who gains from that?

Q. Have developments over the past few years, such as the Trump presidency, the Republican tax cuts, the pandemic and the growth of the gig economy, worsened this situation?

Q. With your book, you offer a study guide and a copy of a sort of manifesto that you prepared called “Labor 360: Saving the Middle Class.” What’s that all about?

Q. You wrote that in response to something called the Powell Memo. What was that?

Q. You’re now trying to gain traction for your Labor 360 plan? What does that involve?

Q. Tell us about your latest book, “You Will Forever Be My Always.”

Q. Where can people find your books and how can they reach out to you?

Listen to the podcast:

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